NCBA Urge Negotiators to Finalize TPP Negotiations This Week in AtlantaWed, 30 Sep 2015 15:00:53 CDT
Another round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are underway in Atlanta, Georgia. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus is one of the many agricultural observers in Atlanta for these discussions going on Wednesday and Thursday. He said the cattle industry is looking forward to wrapping up the TPP deal.
"The most important thing that we can see is that a comprehensive agreement be concluded," Bacus said. "We're talking about a good agreement that can get enough support from all the industries and something that can really help us set a level playing field throughout the Pacific-Rim countries for this generation and generations to come. We're really looking for a solid agreement and we need that agreement to happen immediately."
NCBA feels a sense of urgency of seeing negotiators get the deal finalized sooner, rather than later. Bacus said the longer negations go, there could more backsliding on issues that were once concluded. There are still some outstanding issues, so he is hopeful those will be resolved this week. If they aren't, the U.S. will be further behind other countries that are trying to set up trade agreements outside of TPP.
Japan is currently the top export market for U.S. beef, totaling $1.6 billion in 2014, even with a 38.5 percent tariff rate. One of the leading competitors for Japanese consumers is Australia. Last year Australia and Japan signed the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement that phases down the tariff on beef imports over 15 years and removes a 50 percent snapback tariff on Australian beef. This agreement gives Australia a competitive advantage and as a result Australia is taking market share away from U.S. beef. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will put U.S. beef producers on a level playing field with Australian beef producers.
"So, every day that TPP is not concluded and put into action, is another day we're going to be further behind the Australians," Bacus said.
Japan was the last country to join the TPP. Bacus said Japan's involvement makes these negotiations even more important. Japan and the United States are two of the largest economies in the Pacific Rim and NCBA wants the US to set the standards. Japan is a major export market for many American-made goods and he said that's a good incentive to conclude the TPP deal. Negotiators have reported automobiles and dairy are two of the outstanding issues being discussed this week in Atlanta.
"We really, really need for our negotiators to go ahead and solidify a good agreement, something that we can support, something we can get behind and get in place, otherwise we're just going to continue to fall further and further behind these Pacific Rim Countries," Bacus said.
The United States announced its intention to participate in the TPP negotiations in November 2009. The other TPP nations include: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Bacus on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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